Sierra Leone’s Minister Of Planning And Economic Development Kenyeh Barley has on the 5th June 2024 addressed the Mid-Term Review Meeting on Accountable Governance for Basic Service Delivery Project

The meeting hosted members from the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) and the World Bank team to review the mid-term progress of the Accountable Governance for Basic Service Delivery Project (AGBSDP – P172492) being a project that is supported by the World Bank and focused on improving governance and service delivery in Sierra Leone.

It was reported that, the mid-term review aimed to highlight the successes and challenges of the following projects under MoPED and the operations of the District Development Coordinating Committees (DDCC) at national and local council levels, The review of development plans for local councils and Updating the costing template for development projects and integrating it into the 2025 national budget.

Minister Kenyeh Barlay, Minister of Planning The Minister welcomed the appraisal team and expressed gratitude to the World Bank for its support. She emphasized the progress made since the project’s commencement in 2022, particularly in institutionalizing the DDCCs and integrating the Public Investment Program (PIP) of Local Councils into the national budget.

She added that from the feedback shee have received and her participation in the Annual Review and Planning Sessions she is pleased that they will be able to ascertain progress and identify bottlenecks to further improve their implementation record.

She gave a progress report under the Rural Development component, where DDCCs have become permanent structures within local councils. The Public Investment Management Directorate successfully included Local Councils’ PIP in the national budget for the first time. Additionally, the Planning, Policy & Research Directorate supported harmonizing district development planning.

Minister Barlay stressed the need for consistent support in line with the Local Government Act, which mandates bi-monthly DDCC meetings. She also highlighted the pending approval for preparing PIPs for the 2025 national budget, crucial for consolidating Public Investment Programmes in Local Councils as well as emphasized the importance of government ownership in development projects, aligning with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation’s principle of Country Ownership. She advocated for the government to lead project activities, ensuring alignment with the National Development Agenda and the Big 5 game-changers outlined in the MTNDP 2024-2030.

She expressed optimism for the review meeting, anticipating updates on DDCC operations, the review of development plans, and the integration of costing templates into the national budget. She reiterated MoPED’s commitment to taking charge of the development budget to enhance national planning, budgeting, and plan execution.

Madam Barlay assured the World Bank of continued cooperation and commitment to the project’s success. She encouraged frank discussions to address bottlenecks and implementation challenges, setting the stage for a productive mid-term review.